First national meeting to raise awareness of the issue of heavy metal poisoning

26 November 2017

In Peru the week of Monday 27 November is dedicated (by whom, we wonder) to the cause of putting in place the urgent measures needed to develop adequate public policies for the prevention and cure of afflictions caused by heavy metal poisoning.

The objective is to provoke a public debate. Seminars are planned on the situation in Espinar (Cusco) and on how public policy needs to grasp the nettle. Participants will include people from a range of affected areas: from Espinar, Cerro de Pasco (Pasco), Hualgayoc (Cajamarca), La Oroya (Junín), San Mateo (Lima), the river basins of Corrientes, Tigre, Marañón y Pastaza (Loreto), Puno and Callao.

The activities are promoted by the Working Group on Environmental Health formed by thirteen of the principal NGOs working on this theme in Peru. The advance publicity highlights many tragic cases, for example as documented by the medical expert Fernando Osores who evaluated twenty-four children in the area of Pasco and La Oroya for Red Muqui. His work showed that simply breathing the polluted air of these cities was enough to produce chronic health effects from lead poisoning. Other metals such as arsenic, cadmium and mercury were also damaging health. The Ministry of Health, say Red Muqui, has not so far responded to complaints.

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